Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Success Story of Sathya Movies.

     Every film production house has its stated and implicit objectives towards accomplishing entertainment norms and audience satisfaction.This blog already carries articles on the two gigantic production houses like the AVM studios and Gemini Pictures.There are articles on the Devar Films and  the Modern Theatres too.The other famous production unit that has made history in Tamil film Industry is the Sathya Movies, once proudly managed by RM.Veerappan. This unit owes its genesis and victory chiefly to the most popular mass hero MGR who contributed directly and indirectly to its strong base and steady growth.In other words it was under his blessing and stewardship,the Sathya Studios[the name Sathya forming part of the name of MGR's mother Sathyabama}established its position as an astounding film making institution.
      The victory march of Sathya Movies,started with its very first film Dheivathai,starring MGR and Sarojadevi.This film had several distinct features.It was the only film of MGR directed by P.Madhavan.It was the only film of MGR, for which K.Balachander wrote the dialogues. This film was a blockbuster on account of its creditable story line,the twists and suspense in narration,its extraordinary music quotient,and the amazing character portrayal of MGR, S.A.Asokan, Pandaribai and S.V.Sahasranamam besides the charming deliberations of Sarojadevi.It was a police story involving crime,family sentiment and a clear focus on filial dedication,particularly to one's mother. This film perfectly adhered to the film making yardsticks prevalent in those days and proved to be an exemplary and extraordinary MGR hit.The second film 'Naan Anaiyittaal'of this production house was also an MGR film and captured the audience imagination with a theme of reform of wrong doers and MGR as usual played the role of a good man struggling to reform a gang of robbers.The songs of this MGR film,directed by Sanakya, also became great hits.
   There was another mega hit of Sathya Movies released in 1967 and the film was Kaavalkaaran, with MGR and Jeyalalitha playing the lead roles.It was again a police story carrying a great deal of suspense from the beginning till the end.For the first time, Nambiyar acted as the father-in-law of MGR but as an irremediable baddie waiting to be sent to jail by his son-in-law, anytime.The film was action packed showing MGR as a boxer at the very beginning of the film.Neat narration of an eventful story,subtle displays of the conjugal element and felicitous music, took the film to its great heights, making it a fabulous commercial hit.Then came 'Kannan En Kadhalan',another MGR Jeyalalitha film with a captivating story line that showed Jeyalalitha undergoing the trauma of one side love, coupled with a leg handicap, preventing her from dancing that she loved to perform. Vanisri was the other heroine of this film.The crime aspect without which, hardly any MGR movie could be thought of,was shown through the character of a criminal doctor, played by Asokan. Both these films were directed by P.Neelakandan. 
     Rickshawkaaran and Idayakkani were the other two Sathya movies films in which MGR played the hero.Both these films were amazing hits and MGR despite his ageing,was shown in brilliant form, with enriched looks and enchanting action zeal.While Manjula played the opposite of MGR in the former,Radha Salooja,a noted Hindi actress was his pair in the latter.The stories of both the films had a lot of scope for action, sentiment and social sense.In Rickshawkaaran,Padmini who used to be MGR's pair in his films released in the Nineteen fifties,performed as the hero's elder sister with her usual gusto.It was one of the limited number of MGR films, in which Major Sundarajan had a telling role performance.These two films were directed by M.Krishnan Nair and A.Jeganathan respectively.
    MGR being in active politics,Sathya Movies had to think of alternative heroes when they could not get his call sheets. Jai Shankar replaced MGR as a dynamic police officer in Sathya Movies Kannipen directed by A.Kasilingam and released in 1969.This film was highly acclaimed for its gripping story line and powerful narration. Sivakumar,who had already played as MGR's cousin in Kaavalkaaran,was again inducted almost in a similar role in this film. Vanisri and Lakshmi were the two heroines of the film though, as per the title,it could be said that Lakshmi was the main character of this film. After this film,Sivakumar played the lead in Vellaadu Vengai Aagiradhu and Arjun was the hero of  En Thangai .These two films were of course released when MGR had already become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
    Later,two other new generation heroes perfectly fitted themselves into the family of the Sathya Movies. They were Kamalhasan and Rajinikanth.Of the two,the superstar became closer to this film house because Kamalahasan did only two films, Kaakki Chattai and Kadhal Parisu of which the first was a grand success with Kamalahasan and Ambika adding glamour, dynamism and tempo, followed by Sathyaraj who brought in a new style of villainy by his inimitable freshness and gusto.Of the two Kamal films,Kaakichattai was directed by Rajasekar and Kadhal Parisu  went into the hands of A.Jeganathan.
    But it was Rajini, who after MGR, gave a successful series  of commercial hits under the Sathya Movies banner. Rajini began his association with Sathya Movies by a grand play of three roles in Moonru Mugam that was received and rated very well.His second movie was Thanga Magan, another run away hit. Ilayaraja's music was an additional strength to Thangamagan that did not leave out any of the trade mark features of the Sathya Movies' films.These two films were directed by A.Jeganathan. Rajini's Raanuva Veeran directed by his pet director S.P.Muthuraman, Oorkavalan made by Manobala and Panakkaaran by P.Vasu, were the other films produced by the Sathaya Movies.Each of them was recognized  for their different theme and narration of events.But Oorkaavalan was more impressive because of Ranjini's combined show of humour and gravity and Radhika's brilliant role play.
     However, after Thangamagan,it was the movie Baasha that hit everybody's imagination with forceful dialogues and Rajini's exuberant style of acting. Raguvaran's villainy after Oorkaavalan, was yet another prominent aspect of this film.Most of the scenes were pictured powerfully, elevating the superstar's image through catapulting his potential for a tremendous projection of his body language.Thus the film became another milestone not only in the career of Rajinikanth but in the history of Sathya Movies'film making.
    When Sathyaraj turned to play the hero after creating a fantastic record of villainy,Sathya Movies offered him two films.They were Mandhira Punnagai and Pudhiya Vaanam. Interestingly,for the first time Sathya Movies came forward to include Sivaji Ganesan in the film Pudhiya Vaanam,in which both Sivaji and Sathayraj performed as cops.It was a known fact that many film houses and directors of MGR{eg.Devar Films and The Modern Theatres} would hardly think of inducting Sivaji Ganesan in their films and Sathya Movies was no exception to this.The other fact here is, Pudhiya Vaanam was produced and released only after the death of MGR.
     A close observation of the films released by Sathya Movies will reveal one fact crystal clear.It is about the two mass heroes MGR and Rajinikanth who at different periods, became the true face of the Sathaya Studios for its success story.The other salient feature is the consistent spirit of adventure, popularized as an inherent layer of all stories taken up by this movie house for effective narration.Like the Modern Studios,Sathya Movies' films were one hundred percent action oriented with dramatic intricacies never sagging at any level of presentation.Like Modern Studios,this Movie House also inducted the stout villain actors R.S.Manohar and S.A.Asokan. Similarly,like Sujatha Cine Arts of K.Balaji,Sathya Movies' films were offered to different directors at different times.What made Sathya Movies different from others was its unique record of creating Silver Jubilee hits every now and then.Actors like V.K.Ramasamy and Thengai Srinivasan,were frequent additions into their films.The strongest and most indisputable thing about Sathya Movies was ever, the story line of all their films, that always kept the audience guessing about the turn of events with an inherent element of suspense.The presence of top level heroes like MGR,Jaishankar Rajini kanth and Kamalahasan facilitated the continuance of their success story.

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